Health

The fourth installment of Shelterforce's Health and Community Development supplement.The health of individuals and the health of communities are linked in so many ways, from zoning to access to fresh food, safe housing, safe streets and parks, and proper medical care. How is this growing realization affecting practice for both community development organizations and health care organizations? What does it take for these two separate worlds to partner toward shared goals? Thanks to the Kresge and Robert Wood Johnson foundations, and Kaiser Permanente for supporting our health and communities coverage, and to our Health and Community Development Editorial Advisory Board for their guidance, knowledge, and insights. Click here to view and download a PDF of our health supplements.

Pollution, Place, and the Unnecessary Tragedy of Premature Death: Lessons for COVID-19

In Louisville, low-income and Black populations living in neighborhoods dealing with decades of industrial pollution are now suffering the worst public health outcomes of COVID-19.
Photo of the Commons in downtown Ithaca.

Did Ithaca Really Cancel Rent?

In early June, residents and organizers successfully pressured the Ithaca Common Council to pass a resolution that requests that the state grant them the authority to cancel rent in response to COVID-19. Contrary to many headlines, it didn't actually cancel rent—yet.

Feeding People in a Pandemic

Across the country, community organizations and food-related businesses have found creative ways to provide meals and groceries to low-income people in need.

How CDCs Are Fighting Back Against Anti-Asian Harassment

Advocates for the Asian-American community say the COVID-19 crisis has led to the most widespread discrimination against them since the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks.

NYC Hospital Closures: Land-Use Decisions Have Life and Death Consequences

How hospital closures in NYC follows an all-too-familiar pattern of disinvestment and a lack of resources in low-income communities of color.

Housing Policy Must Change in Wake of COVID-19

COVID-19 will hurt the low-income and housing insecure the most. We must act now to protect them—and ensure safe housing for all going forward. Here's how.

Why Organizations Should Invest in Home Repairs to Improve Health

A closer look at the relationship between health and the home repair needs of lower-income households.

Tenant Organizing When Rising Rent Isn’t the (Main) Issue

Tenant organizing has been re-energized in coastal cities where housing costs are soaring. But tenants need a voice in the rest of the country too—and they are organizing to get one.

Using Ride-Hailing Services to Get Patients to Their Doctors

Health care providers and insurers are trying out new transportation models that could vastly benefit their patients—and their bottom lines.
An aerial shot of St. Joseph's Hospital in Paterson, New Jersey.

NJ Pays Hospitals to Build Affordable Housing

New Jersey’s Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency offers significant subsidies to encourage local hospitals to build housing for low-income residents and frequent users of hospital services.
A doctor and her patient walk outside.

Rural Hospital Struggles are Also an Economic Development Issue

Aside from the health implications, the closure of a hospital in a rural community deeply impacts the area’s economic wellbeing. But in some cases, it can be avoided.

Evaluating a Program’s Health Outcomes

The Health Outcomes Demonstration Project, a partnership between Success Measures at NeighborWorks America and Enterprise Community Partners, helped organizations measure their programs’ impact on residents’ health.
The outside of Karluck Manor, a housing-first facility that is helping to address the opioid epidemic.

Getting to the Heart of the Opioid Crisis

In some ways, dealing with the opioid epidemic is a natural fit for community development groups. At the heart, it’s often a problem of poverty: a lack of jobs and opportunities. Here's how CDCs are using their skills to address the crisis.

A Health Insurer and a CDC Collaborate to Move the Needle on Housing and...

David Adame of Chicanos Por La Causa, and Joe Guadio of UnitedHealthcare talk about the value of addressing social determinants and lessons they’ve learned.
A young man repairs a bike as part of a program in Hawaii that offers young men and boys healing spaces.

Informal Gathering Spaces for Healing Community Trauma

All communities—especially those carrying heavy burdens of trauma and inequity—deserve the transformation and resilience that healing spaces can provide.
A deteriorated Brownsville home.

There Is an Emergency at the Border. It’s Poverty.

Targeted investments that address persistent poverty are necessary and should supersede financial support of a border wall.
A meeting of the Chelsea Hub in Massachusetts.

Connecting the City’s Social Services to Help At-Risk Populations

A four-year-old Massachusetts program helps vulnerable populations by increasing communication among a range of local groups. And it's having a positive effect—it's helping reduce crime.
HOLC Map for San Francisco

Redlining and Mental Health: Connecting the Dots Across Poverty, Place, and Exclusion

A side by side comparison of historical redlining maps reveals a strong spatial relationship between a history of systemic exclusion in the form of redlining and poor mental health.
woman in wheelchair approaches door of house

When a Renter with Disabilities Is Denied Housing

Renters with disabilities are often unable to meet the kinds of admission criteria that landlords establish for their properties.

Building Healthy Housing Through Health Action Plans

A pilot program required CDCs to collaborate with public health professionals in order to discover—and address—a community’s pressing health issues. What the collaboration uncovered were issues that the participating CDCs hadn't even considered.